ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE written and directed.
ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, with Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and Anton Yelchin. A Mongrel Media release. 123 minutes. Opens Friday (April 25). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNNN
Powered by droning guitars and a heroin-chic cinematic palette, Jim Jarmusch’s tale of a vampire couple in decaying Detroit has the texture and vibe of every Velvet Underground song ever recorded – but of course that’s also its central metaphor.
Adam (Tom Hiddleston) lives like a recluse in a shabby Motown manse, making music he swears he’ll never release Eve (Tilda Swinton) is his fashion-plate partner, just back from hanging out in Tangiers with a guy she calls Kit Marlowe (John Hurt). They pick up deliveries of “the good stuff” and swan around in elegant decadence until Eve’s wild-child sister (Mia Wasikowska) gets in from L.A. and fucks up their perfect ennui.
It doesn’t explode the vampire genre – I’m not even sure it takes place within the genre, really. But it’s a deeply pleasurable film, with bone-dry wit and languid pacing that recall the Jarmusch of Mystery Train and Dead Man. The entire cast is having a ball, and Adam’s music is pretty good, too.